A tornado ripped through the town of Fultondale overnight, killing one 14-year-old boy, injuring around 30, and destroying significant amounts of property.
As of 10:30 a.m., emergency response teams are still conducting operations in the area. Eighteen people were reportedly hospitalized due to the storm as of Tuesday morning.
Fultondale is a town of around 8,300 people just north of Birmingham. The tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service in Birmingham at around 10:45 p.m. on Monday.
Reporters who arrived on the scene Tuesday morning shared images of the destruction.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) January 26, 2021
Storm damage in Fultondale, AL.
— Jack Royer (@JackRoyer) January 26, 2021
Now that it’s daylight, you can see the large amount of damage in Fultondale. This is from Carson Road looking at New Castle Road. pic.twitter.com/ep4PyC8VDp
— Russell Jones (@russellwbrc) January 26, 2021
— Clare Huddleston (@Fox6Clare) January 26, 2021
The nearby town of Center Point also reportedly saw damage from the storm.
— Dave Nussbaum (@Dave_Nussbaum) January 26, 2021
Local officials confirmed Tuesday that the young man who perished in the storm was a 14-year-old student at Fultondale High School. He and his father reportedly took shelter in their basement as recommended when a large tree fell on their dwelling.
Local emergency responders are asking the general public to say away from the most affected areas until they can clear the damage.
The Fultondale High School building suffered extreme damage in the storm. Fultondale Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin told reporters that he does not expect teachers and students will ever be able to return to the building, and the tornado will likely speed up existing plans to replace the school.
Estimates on the total amount of property damage and the number of families displaced by the storm are still being developed.
Those who wish to support the community can bring nonperishable items to the Fultondale City Hall, where a command center is operating. They can also donate to the Salvation Army or go to the United Way of Central Alabama’s web portal dedicated to the tornado response.
This story is breaking and may be updated.